Amazon Accuses US Antitrust Bill for Unfairly Targeting the Retailer With Strict Regulations on Wednesday criticized a bill in Congress that would prevent tech giants from giving preference to their own businesses over their websites, saying it unfairly discriminates the retailer while not subjecting competitors to similar regulations.

Media reported that the Senate may vote on the bill as early as this month. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, despite huge pressure from top executives such as Apple CEO, Tim Cook. It was also approved by the House of Representatives Judicial Committee last year.

Amazon said in a blog post that the bill “compromises two things American consumers love most about Amazon: the wide selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast and free shipping through Amazon Prime.” “

It argued that the bill targeted only one retailer, Amazon, by requiring a market value of at least $550 billion (approximately Rs 42,63,100 crore) to qualify for regulation and that competitors such as Walmart, Target and CVS were excluded.

She added, “In 2021, Wal-Mart’s annual revenue was $559 billion (about Rs 43,32,800 crore), nearly $90 billion (about Rs 6,97,599 crore) more than Amazon.” excluding Walmart even though it is also a large retailer that allows small businesses to sell in its online marketplace.”

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, who co-sponsored the measure called the Online American Innovation and Choice Act, say the measure is necessary to protect small businesses. The bill garnered the support of small business groups such as the Main Street Alliance and Small Business Rising.

Amazon argued that the bill could harm hundreds of thousands of small businesses that sell merchandise on its website because heavy fines for violations “would make it difficult to justify the risk of Amazon offering a marketplace in which selling partners could participate.”

She said the bill would authorize “Amazon to allow other logistics providers to fulfill Prime orders” and could make it “virtually impossible, for Amazon and our selling partners to offer products with Prime’s” free two-day shipping.

Major tech companies, including Meta Platforms affiliate Facebook and Apple, have come under pressure in Congress amid allegations that they abused their huge market power. A long list of bills has been proposed to rein them in, but none have become law.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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